Letter from council of New Netherland to director Stuyvesant

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May God be praised and thanked. With [      ] we have heard of your fortunate [      ] of Fort Casamier without [      ] or bloodshed by an accord [      ] and useful for the encouragement of the [      ] easier to bring into submission. We hope that you have before the arrival of this, through God's assistance, brought it to pass that the Swedish people have submitted and surrendered Fort Cristina ].

Since we see by your letter that you intend ] to proceed slowly, partly to spare the men and partly to ask our advice in regard to the point ] mentioned in your letter, this shall then serve as a reply to it with advice on the [      ] point, as follows:

If Almighty God should deliver Fort Cristina ] into your hands, then level it; strengthen and [      ] Casamier; and [      ] all the Swedes from the South River, especially all those who are in [      ] or from whom one might [      ] trouble in the future if they were allowed to remain ]; because a conquered or vanquished ] people are not to be trusted when the opportunity arises, as has been demonstrated in Brazil and ] [      ], but [      ] not to take [      ]the innocent inhabitants [      ] to divide [      ] them there in future [      ] our ] advice would be: if Fort Cristina should fall into your hands without bloodshed, then level it, as previously stated; and expel the Swedes from there.

However, since Almighty God has remarkably delivered us here from a general massacre by the Indians, and for our manifold sins has nevertheless allowed the Indians to destroy many farms and murder many people, it would in our opinion be advisable, for the preservation of what is most important and for the consolation of the inhabitants, that you condescend to arrange, as soon as possible, some provisional contract with the governor, concerning the fort and the lands of Cristina, with the most favorable conditions possible for this country and which honor allows; and to return here at the first opportunity with the ships and men in order to preserve what is still left. Otherwise, all the farms and places in the country shall be abandoned, the grain and fodder ruined, the livestock destroyed; and it is to be feared that many other inconveniences ] might arise so that there will be great trouble and suffering ] in the community. If we are not able to [      ] some supplies for [      ] militia, about which we have already made some agreement with Messers. Goudjer[1] and W  ], [      ] shall be able to receive little.

As to the requested advice, we cannot ] say more ] for the present, but think ourselves unfit [      ] shall make sufficient judgments which best serve the commonality.

My Lord, we would continue this but are hindered by constant business, alarms, and by being day and night under arms; officers and citizens both. We shall close and most respectfully and earnestly request you to return here as quickly as possible with your accompanying troops (leaving at Casamier a garrison of no more men than is necessary), for we and the citizens all must stand [      ] and are day and night [      ] with patrols, watches, rounds, and helping to save livestock and grain. All of this we hope you have taken seriously into consideration. I shall resolve together with the remaining councilors [      ] the best...

the remaining 14 lines are too damaged to translate  ]


Probably Stephen Goodyear, deputy governor of the New Haven Colony.


Translation: Gehring, C. trans./ed., New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch, Vols. 18-19, Delaware Papers: Dutch Period, 1648-1664 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.: 1981).A complete copy of this publication is available on the New Netherland Institute website.